The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Your Social Media Strategy

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Your Social Media Strategy  


Are you a tech savvy REALTOR?


Do you have a strategy or is just a guess?And do you have a strategy? Or is it hit and miss?


I am formalizing my social media strategy, something that should have been done before.


I go about my blogging and sharing information on social media sites pretty regularly, especially Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, but it is not always been as planful as it ought to be.


As I work on my social media strategy for 2013, I thought I would share my ideas and encourage feedback from others.


These are the issues that are important:




You need to know who you are trying to attract with your marketing. Obviously you can’t be everything to everyone, nor should you try. But there can be more than one niche – first time buyers, vacation home buyers, short sales and/or REOs, a demographic niche (gen y, seniors), a geographic niche (specific neighborhoods, the larger community, coastal, golf course area, mountains) and so on.


And if there are certain categories you do NOT want to work with, such as short sales, don’t write about them.


Another strategic consideration is deciding who to follow. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other sites will overwhelm you with people who want to connect. Do you really want to? Is there some value to connecting and does it make sense?




You certainly have to decide what you are going to do – blogging is not for everyone but it is my primary marketing on-line. Are you going to do more with video and if so in what way (communities, listings, FAQs, tutorials)? How about posting on Facebook? Or do you prefer the micro-blogging of Twitter?


The Internet and social media CAN drive you crazy!WHEN


Scheduling is key. Why? Because the Internet, and particularly social media, are a huge time suck. It will drive you crazy if you are not somewhat planful. 


Plan your time and decide when you want to write on your blog, update your status and respond to comments on Facebook, and so on. Some people put this on their calendar to make sure they do it and keep to their schedule. Apps like Hootsuite can help with scheduling and keeping track of what is going on with the sites and people you follow.




Decide where you want to be on-line, because you can get overwhelmed with possibilities. This must relate to your overall strategy. Who you want to attract may more likely be found on LinkedIn than Facebook.


And what you want to do will determine what sites you will be on. I personally focus on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter, plus my blogs including ActiveRain.




You must understand why you are out there in the social media world. Is it for leads? Building relationships? Hanging out and being sociable? For entertainment?  To promote yourself and your business? Ego? If you don’t know why then you are probably wasting your time, and it’s hard to focus on what you should be doing.


Social media is free, of course, other than personal time, so there is a cost but free is still a valid reason. And with the number of people on the Internet and the major social media sites, can you afford to not create a social media strategy as part of your business plan in 2013?


I know it is important to have a business plan for the year, but with regard to social media I don’t think that works so well. You need to have the flexibility to make major shifts in your marketing, and you don’t want to be tied into an annual plan.  While you want an overarching strategy, you need to have the flexibility built in to shift with the market, new sites, and other changes that necessitate a modification.


What say you?


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Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...
Jeff ~} all the aspects of social media suck time and planning time effectively is very difficult and even more so during the holidays when there are more social activities involved. Business comes first, everything else comes second.
Dec 13, 2012 10:38 AM #22
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Jeff, this is absolutely spot on and speaks to time blocking as well as incorporating the income that might be derived from social media. Copied your post for my personal reference as we have a business planning meeting with our manager/broker tomorrow :)


Dec 13, 2012 11:49 AM #23
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


What a great idea.  I think that your first step is the step I keep forgetting about.  I write blogs, post and comment on social media sites without a plan focusing on who I want to attract. 

Dec 13, 2012 12:16 PM #24
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Andrew - thanks for your thoughts. I agree that you really to make the committment to stand out from the pack.

Lori - I think most of us do some winging, and managing the time is probably not high on the list of successes. I can certainly improve there. And now we have Google+ to add to the mix

Cindy - well I hope it will be useful as you think through your planning. Still working on mine.

Rob - thanks for the thoughts, and good luck. At least you are thinking about being planful - that's a good first step. I think it's rather easy to just jump in, and maybe that's OK to get started but at some point it needs to be more strategic and not just guesswork. My opinion.

Paula - so true. That's why I am working on one because the time (and all those other things I mentioned) is NOT well managed.

Michelle - I think that's a perfect example of how you can spend a ton of time, perhaps having a lot of fun, but it's not very productive.

Fernando - well you are no doubt way ahead of most folks in being planful about social media.


Dec 13, 2012 12:24 PM #25
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

Thanks for the thoughful post Jeff!  I do everyting WHEN I can.  I'd be much less rattled if I broke it all down into a regular schedule. 

Dec 13, 2012 12:28 PM #26
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

Excellent post Jeff. This is great advice and strategy for everyone.

Dec 13, 2012 01:53 PM #27
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY

I think it's really important to stay focused with social media.  It's easy to get distracted by reading and commenting and losing too much time in a day.  I've cut back significantly and try to watch the clock.  Great points!

Dec 13, 2012 10:23 PM #28
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Great points, Jeff. Time blocking is essential, but one has to know the WHY first.

Dec 13, 2012 10:33 PM #29
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Well said!  I have seen posts relating to things such as short sales by agents that don't even do them.  I must assume they are hoping buyers will call them and they can convince them to purchase a home that is not in a short sale situation.

Dec 13, 2012 11:00 PM #30
Jonathan Schildt
Calculated Risk Advisors - Chicago, IL

Thanks for the post, Jeff.  Being intentional when it comes to social networking is certainly key and your post makes us all think about it.

Always wearing my "risk manager" hat, I think it is important to add that while social networking is a valuable and ever-changing animal, it can be a dangerous one as well.  

People tend to post words for the world to see that may not properly convey your true intent.  As a real estate professional, your words carry special weight and may even influence other's actions.  I have seen a lot of professionals in my day that bring lawsuits on themselves because of careless words.  


Dec 13, 2012 11:05 PM #31
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Just like anything you should have a plan & a target.

Dec 14, 2012 12:02 AM #32
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This is a tough one - with people hollering from all sides about where we should be posting and what we should be doing. I focus on Active Rain and if there's more time, post to LinkedIn. I really haven't seen the value of Facebook, and I dread getting started with Google+.

Dec 14, 2012 01:55 AM #33
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Jeff - This is such a timely post!  I sold $1.2 million in real estate thanks to Facebook last year.  Building relationships is key in our business, so my focus tends to be more on Facebook than any other social media.  I need to spend more time on my blogs - AR, 2 Drupal blogs, and 1 WordPress.  I tend to post on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Plus via links from my blog posts.  I need to pay more attention to Pinterest.  Most importantly I need to develop an integrated social media strategy and decide which topics to post about and where to post them.  Good for you for being in the vanguard on this important issue.  You should sponsor a contest on this.

Dec 14, 2012 02:34 AM #34
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Richie - ha ha, you are such a clown. LOL

Beth - well I am rethinking what I want to do, when, where and why. I know the who just need to focus it a bit more. I think it's fine, in fact a good idea, to modify during the year as needed.

Johnny - just because someone says you should use a particular site does not mean it's right for you. Do what works and what you enjoy.

Michael - and it is getting harder to balance I think.

Paula - thanks for sharing those ideas. I WILL take a look as it gives me some ideas as well - thanks!


Dec 14, 2012 03:54 AM #35
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jane - I have some work cut out for me, too. I realized that my social media is NOT planful at all but really needs to be. I feel like I waste alot of time

Steve - now is a good time to create a plan that makes sense given your overall business plan, rather than after the fact.

Bryan - agreed. Social media is now such a big part of what we do and it can't be successful if we are strategic about it and it fits with everything else we do. And there is the whole issue of branding, too.

Jerry - no doubt there are many who struggle with the timing issue. And it gets harder and harder if we get sucked into joining and participating in lots of different sites.

Erica - true no matter kind of marketing you are doing and where.


Dec 15, 2012 12:12 AM #36
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Jeff, we agree.  During the day we only use AR for ~1 hour or less and post them to FB, etc.  Browsing social media is our evening relaxation.

Dec 15, 2012 12:15 AM #37
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

It is all mind boggling to me, I have over 1500 friends and they seem mostly politically minded and none even talk real estate although that is the majority of what I post. I need help for sure

Dec 15, 2012 10:52 PM #38
Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team
Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team - Coral Springs, FL
Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise!

You made so many poignant statements! I especially how you reminded me that Social Media is FREE, but not my time.

I will get better with Hootsuite, because I am tired of feeling over whelmed.  Joy

Dec 16, 2012 06:06 AM #39
Tyler Soulliere
Windsor Realtor - Windsor, ON
I too just finished writing my social media strategy! Now comes the hardest part, implementing it!
Dec 16, 2012 09:09 AM #40
Rob Renk
Center Street Lending - McKinney, TX
AE | Fast Fix/Flip Loans for Residential Investors

Thanks for the ips on social media.  i am just learning how it all works.  it took me years just to get my web site working for me.  Great post.

Dec 18, 2012 01:25 AM #41
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
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